Wednesday, June 04, 2008

I've Lost All Respect for Her As a Politician

Look, I would have voted for Hillary Clinton happily in the general election against John McCain. I fault her for being a centrist, feeling like she needs to be more warmongering than any normal person, and for a whole lot of other stuff but I don't care about that. She's a democrat and that is good enough for me in an up or down race against the devil. And some of the things she is selling right now--that she is tenacious and a smart in fighter are things that, sometimes, Obama leaves us wondering about. But this last coda to the race, this bizarre refusal to bow out gracefully, is just bad politics and indicates a tin ear of sizeable proportions.

Over at TPM they have this up--an unofficial/official communication from a surrogate that Hillary would accept the VP slot if offered. Well, hill and bill, let me tell you something about politics. No shit you'd take the VP slot. The person who needed to know that is that guy with the funny name--Barack something or other--and you had a private conversation with him just a few days ago. If you thought you really wanted that job, he was the guy you had to be nice to to get it. And instead of telling him what you wanted and then making it worth his while by graciously conceding and working with your supporters to support him in the general you have continued to piss and moan and whip up your supporters into a frenzy, to spit out sound bites for John McCain's fall campaign, and then to semaphore that you are simply holding "your" voters hostage to cut a better deal for yourself in the next campaign. This is so transparent that one of your actual supporters already went to the Huffington Post and told you where you get off in the well titled essay "I am not a bargaining Chip, I'm a democrat". When you are the decider, you get to decide. When you are the supplicant, you have to supplicate. And when you want to be on a team with a guy, you have to show you can be a team player. This grandstanding is exactly the opposite of what Obama and his team need to see. And I could have lived without it, too. If he "gives in" and gives you the job of VP he looks weak and you look petty. If he refuses to give it to you he runs the risk of upsetting your voters but you look like an absolute fool. You could have had any job you wanted, possibly including vice president, if you hadn't tried to force his hand by making the very request a kind of show down. Instead you have put Obama, yourself, and your supporters in an untenable position. That's not smart politics, that's political murder/ suicide. I've lost a lot of respect for you and for Bill. The one thing I thought you had going for you was a sound sense of what the public wanted and needed from their political leaders.